Barn and Building Quilt project is underway

HOOSICK, N.Y. -- Sponsored and coordinated by Hoosick’s HAYC3, and more than a year in the planning, the All-Hoosick Community Barn & Building Quilt Project is now underway. The Barn and Building Quilt Project (which will be the "Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail" when it’s done) is one that strives to unite community through the communal designing, construction, painting of quilt patterns on 8’ x 8’ and 4’ x4’ wooden panels.

"The Barn Quilts are coming and our community is ready to welcome them with open arms," said Mayor David Borge. "The Hoosick community is rich in history and tradition. Our citizens appreciate craftsmanship and take pride in our heritage. The Barn Quilts and the trail combine both and I am excited and pleased to support yet another example of the best of our community."

Originally planned for last year, the project was postponed because HAYC3 received a grant for the Owl Mural project last summer.

Design and building will begin this winter (the first work dates scheduled for building the frames are Jan. 25, 2014 and Feb. 15) and will continue into spring, and the painting will happen throughout this summer. It will be HAYC3’s major summer art for and by the community project.

The plan is to create a large number of the "quilts" this summer as the start of an ongoing endeavor that the community can continue adding to in the future.

Together, under the auspices of HAYC3, we will explore the history, purpose and meaning of quilts in the American and regional cultures, and together we will create beautiful painted wooden quilts that will be permanently installed on barns and buildings all around Hoosick and Hoosick Falls, thus creating the "Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail."

There will be a specially designed map indicating the Quilt locations that residents and tourists can follow.

The unveiling of the quilts will be in August 2014, and HAYC3 will sponsor a Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail Caravan in the fall during the peak foliage season.

The goals of the project are to celebrate our community’s history and heritage, to encourage artistic expression, promote community pride, to bring generations together to learn and share, to have a good time working collaboratively with our friends, families and neighbors. In addition, the Hoosick Barn & Building Quilt Trail will encourage economic development by promoting tourism and local businesses.

Organizations and individuals who are interested in participating may call HAYC3 at 518-686-9050. Master Gardener Program slated

BENNINGTON -- Beginning Feb. 4, 2014 the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program will offer a 13-week informative course at Vermont Interactive Technologies, 124 Pleasant St. It is open to everyone from aspiring to experienced gardeners and provides graduates with the opportunity to give back to their communites by becoming a certified Extension Master Gardener. (Certfication requires completion of a 40 hour volunteer internship). Classes will be held Tuesdays through April 29 from 6:15 to 9 p.m.

The first class starts at 5:45 p.m. for a brief student orientation. The course fee is $395.

Download the registration form at www.uvm.edu/mastergardener or contact the program office at 802-656-9562 or master.gardener@uvm.edu. Register by Jan. 17 to avoid a late fee. If you require disability accommodation, register by Jan. 3.

Grafton Lakes to hold annual Winter Festival

GRAFTON, N.Y. -- Grafton Lakes State Park and the Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park will host the 29th Annual Winter Festival and Ice Fishing Contest on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.

The Winter Fest will feature winter exhibits, vendors, family-friendly and recreational activities. The event is free of charge and main events run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Winter Festival offers environmental and recreational workshops and outings, including snow sculpture and snowball-throwing contests for the kids, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and live animal exhibits. The 7th Annual Polar Plunge benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation jumps into Long Pond at 1 p.m., and promises to be an awesome and chilly spectacle this year.

For more informatio or to pre-register for the Plunge, call Margaret Philips at 518-479-3739.

New outdoor events this year include a dog walk for furry friends as well as an introduction to animal tracking.

A snowshoe obstacle course and snow bowling will also be part of the fun. There will be snowshoe and cross country ski outings throughout the park at levels for all ages to enjoy, and snowshoes available for rent. Hot food is also sold during the event from Grafton Lakes State Park’s concession provider, Brunswick Barbecue and Brew, as well as local community organizations.

The annual ice fishing contest draws several hundred fishermen and will run from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on all the ponds in the park. Participants can register starting at 5:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Jan. 25 at the park’s pole barn, accessible via the Winter Entrance.

A $10 entry fee for adults 16 and older is required to participate in the fishing tournament.

All 1st place fish will receive a $300 cash prize this year, awarded for the longest length catch of Trout, Walleye/Chain Pickerel and Yellow Perch. Children may enter at no charge and winning entries will receive gift certificates and other prizes. All participants 16 and older must have a New York State fishing license to fish in the park.

Visitors may rent snowshoes from the park office throughout the winter. Snowshoe rental rates are $5 for four hours, and group rates are available. Snow conditions are currently excellent for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

For more information about the Winter Festival, call the park at 518-279-1155. A full schedule of events will be available in Januaryon Grafton Lakes’ website, www.nysparks.com/parks and on www.facebook.com/GraftonLakesStatePark.